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Ascent of Haner Mountain on 2007-02-10

Climber: Eric Noel

Date:Saturday, February 10, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Haner Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:3087 ft / 940 m

Ascent Trip Report

EN: "There are two potential problems with climbing this peak. The first is access, more on that later. The second problem is figuring out where the summit is. There are some other peaks with multiple possibilites for summits but usually the sub-summits are much closer to each other. But in this case, just as for Elbert/The Rockies and Fury/Luna, there is a gap of several miles between the possible highpoints and of course the highest point would be the one which holds the 2000+ feet of prominence. Is it Whacme or is it the SW summit or even the NE summit of Big Foot Hill? Dunno. I figured I'd have to do both Big Foot Hill(s) later but for now I'd start with Whacme which has the highest spot elevation. While climbing Lookout Mtn a while back I had noticed that there were power lines heading up from Lake Whatcom to the ridge right by Whacme and that there was a service road that headed quite close to the summit. Not exactly an ideal route but it would do. I then saw on my Benchmark Atlas that there was a public TH there so that was encouraging. I figured I'd give this way a go and hope that the snow and the weekend meant no loggers would be around.

"On Saturday I made the trek up I-5, getting off at Exit 253, turning right, and then left onto Lakeway. After that you want to Turn on to, E-lec-tric Av-en-ue, and then you take it higher. From that point on that damn song was stuck in my head. Such is the suffering of those who grew up during the 80s. Anyway, you can only turn left onto Electric Ave and then after a few miles it becomes Northshore Drive. Follow this all the way to the well signed turnoff for the Lake Whatcom TH #2. As you enter the trailhead parking lot go left and park in the smaller lot.

"The powerline road goes off straight ahead past a yellow gate that can be seen from the parking lot but the more pleasant option is to take the trail heading off to the left from the parking lot. This trail soon meets up with the road and after that I hiked roads virtually the entire way. The road weaves around the powerline towers with some patches of pleasant forest sprinkled in with open areas along the ridge and the clearcut powerline right of way. I was able to drown out the electric hiss with my iPod which made the hike a bit more pleasant. For a road it seemed to gain elevation at a good grade as it gains 2000 feet in a bit over two miles. At about 2300 feet the powerlines and the road make a swing to the right and the grade flattens out. I continued on until reaching a four way junction. The road I had been following bent to the right and there were two spurs to the left. I took the second of the two as the map showed that road going closest to the summit.

"After a few minutes I passed a creek and immediately came upon a red gate with a sign saying vehicles were prohibited and that access was by written permission only. The property beyond belongs to Sierra Pacific Industries. I later learned that they have or at least used to have an office in Bellingham on Y Road from which recreation permits can be obtained. I'm not sure of the address or phone number but I'll try to find out sometime soon. Had I known about this in advance I would have gone legal, but it was a bit late for that and I felt that walking their roads to a summit was pretty harmless so I continued on. If you do the same, it's your responsibility. Anyway, this road soon came to the summit spur on the left heading uphill. I took that spur and followed it past the clearcuts all the way to the summit. Surprisingly there was hardly any snow even at the summit. The summit is a flat area with overturned dirt and stumps galore. I picked the highest stump and called it a peak. Good views can be had in most directions due to the lack of trees and the you'll want to look in the distance cause this one is quite ugly. At this point I was starting to have some regrets about just bagging this peak. There looked to be a good road heading north for several miles at least towards Big Foot Hill. No snow either which was not what I expected. With an early start and a bit more planning, and by bringing my bike I could have combined these two. As it was I really didn't feel like a twenty mile day of roadwalking until well past dark. So I turned around went back the way I came. The return was rather boring frankly. Round trip was around ten miles and maybe 2700 feet elevation gain. The first 2000 feet of gained seemed steepish for someone like me who doesn't get on my bike very much. But it would be doable and a bike would be great on the flat areas near the top and for the descent. This would be an OK exercise option if you lived nearby but otherwise the powerlines and the clearcuts make it pretty much a trip only a peakbagger would love."--Eric Noel, February 10, 2007
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3127 ft / 951 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Trailhead:North Lake Whatcom Trailhead  360 ft / 109 m
    Grade/Class:Class I
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear



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